Sachin Tendulkar feels that Virat Kohli's aggression has helped the Indian team get better
What's the story?
While quite a few critics believe that Kohli goes overboard at times with his aggressiveness on the field of play, Tendulkar praised the right-hander for staying true to his nature and believes the characteristic has helped the Indian team improve since he took over as skipper.
"His (Kohli's) attitude hasn't changed since he got into the team. I noticed that spark in him which many guys were not fond of and there were many guys who were criticising him for that," Tendulkar said.
"And today that has become the strength of the Indian team. He hasn't changed much but people around him have changed. His attitude has changed only because of his performances and it is extremely crucial for a player to have that freedom to express himself," he added.
In case you didn't know...
The Indian cricket team has been on a roll under Virat Kohli's captaincy in all formats of the game with the skipper leading from the front and is arguably the leading batsman in the world at present.
Kohli, playing his 200th ODI, reached another milestone on Sunday against New Zealand, when he scored his 31st century in the 50-over format to go past Australia's Ricky Ponting and is only behind Tendulkar as far as the most ODI centuries are concerned.
The heart of the matter
Tendulkar might be one of the most humble cricketers to have played the game despite the staggering numbers and innumerable records against his name, but he believes that Kohli's aggressive nature, that often gets under the skin of the opposition, is also something that needs to be appreciated rather than being frowned upon.
Tendulkar talked about the importance of staying true to his nature and added that Kohli has proved what can be achieved by doing so.
The Master Blaster believes that the current Indian side has been helped by the fact that they have a skipper who allows them to play with freedom and that the presence of all-rounders like Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has helped the side become a well-balanced unit.
Tendulkar was interacting with Harsha Bhogle during the launch of journalist Rajdeep Sardesai's new book titled"Democracy's XI - The Great Indian Cricket Story"
Kohli might have scored a record-breaking century on Sunday but the knock went in vain as New Zealand chased down the target of 281 with six wickets in hand thanks to a brilliant 200-run stand between Tom Latham and Ross Taylor.
The hosts will have to be on top of their game in the remaining two matches in the series at Pune and Kanpur to stage a comeback in the series before the action shifts to the T20 format starting November 1.
There was a time when many feared that Kohli's aggressive nature might overshadow his talent and slowly but surely, the Indian skipper is winning his critics over with his impeccable performances and is well on his way to becoming a true legend of the game.
A praise from Tendulkar is always something cricketers cherish upon and as Kohli marches on in his race to chase down Tendulkar's record tally, it is surely a good time to be an Indian cricket fan.